If 55 years of coaching track and field have taught Frank Gagliano anything, it's to keep going.
The legendary coach, now in his seventh year at the helm of HOKA New Jersey New York Track Club (NJNYTC) has three athletes competing in the in the NYRR Men's Wanamaker Mile at the 110th NYRR Millrose Games on Feb. 11 at The Armory’s New Balance Track and Field Center.
Kyle Merber, Johnny Gregorek and Colby Alexander were announced as participants in the signature event of the NYRR Millrose Games on Tuesday.
But for the coach known as "Gags," this new year came with a few important changes and a resolve to keep doing what he loves.
“As long as my mind is in the sport for workouts, so I don't deprive the men and women that I'm coaching, I'll keep (coaching)," Gagliano said. “I try to keep as healthy as I can and we move on."
Gagliano will turn 80 in March. He got his start at Roselle Catholic High School in New Jersey and had a long distinguished college coaching career at Rutgers and Georgetown before becoming a professional coach for post-collegians.
Last year, 16 members of the HOKA NJNYTC qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials and steeplechaser Donn Cabral made the team and competed in the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
In November, the club got a shot in the arm when HOKA ONE ONE became the exclusive sponsor of the NJNYTC. Suddenly, the endless burden of fund-raising to keep the club running was eased. And the home base has moved, from Dunellen, N.J. to Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.
Gagliano lives nearby in Rye, New York. And his two assistants, Tom Nohilly and John Trautmann are also close by.
"(The move) has been really great because we all live within five miles of each other in Westchester County," Gagliano said. “We can come in (to The Armory) on the morning train. It's been a pleasure."
The club lost some athletes and added some new ones for the next four-year cycle.
Gagliano's energy and expertise still drives the group.
“I've got to want it and they've got to want it to achieve their goals," Gagliano said. "All of them are college graduates and they've all given (me) four years."
Purchase tickets for the 110th NYRR Millrose Games before they sell out at tickets.nyrrmillrosegames.org/tickets